Wednesday, 5 October, 2022
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SP spokespersons barred from TV debates, become first casualties of party’s poll debacle

Samajwadi Party top leadership is believed to be upset with spokespersons for failing to effectively articulate the party's vision.

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New Delhi: Spokespersons of the Samajwadi Party (SP) are the first to face the music for the party’s poll debacle in Uttar Pradesh, where voters gave a thumbs down to its alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

SP president Akhilesh Yadav Friday barred all party spokespersons from appearing on television debates with immediate effect. Party sources told ThePrint that the action was taken as it was felt that the spokespersons had failed to effectively articulate the SP’s vision.

Akhilesh’s wishes were conveyed by SP national spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary, who wrote to all bureau chiefs of news channels to stop inviting any party office bearer to their shows or to present the party’s views.

“With the approval of SP national president Akhilesh Yadav it has been decided to stop all spokespersons nominated by the party to participate in television debates and discussions to present the party’s stand,” the letter written by Chaudhary states.

Some of the most visible SP media panellist included Ghanshyam Tiwari and Juhie Singh.

The SP, which fought on 37 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, won in just five. Its ally, the BSP, contested 38 seats and won in 10. In a further setback for the Yadavs, while Akhilesh and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav won, other family members, including his wife Dimple and cousins Dharmendra and Akshay, lost from their seats.

‘Spokespersons were ill-informed’

Sources said the senior leadership was upset over the fact that a number of media panellists and spokespersons were either ill-informed about the party’s stance on a number of issues or ended up putting the party in a bad light.

At the same time, a number of them gave their opinions on controversial issues that the party had a clear strategy of not commenting on, a party source said.

Rajendra Chaudhary, the SP national spokesperson, told ThePrint that it was an organisational decision and that spokespersons will not appear in television debates till the party comes up with a new set of guidelines for them.

Speaking to ThePrint, Tiwari denied charges that the decision was taken to fix accountability for the poll debacle.

“In view of the changed political scenario, we have to develop a new narrative to articulate the party’s views properly,” Tewari said. “Till then we have been asked not to appear in TV panel discussions.”

Also read: The UP don who halted BJP’s march in Ghazipur


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  1. Dynasty is a fact of life in Indian politics. However, as they say, enjoy your drink, but in moderation. Isn’t there something grotesque about five members of one clan contesting in the same general election. It mirrors the Lalu Yadav clan in next door Bihar, all hands on deck. These are parties representing the “ subalterns “.

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